Skin Care Candles Food: Maybe Maybe Not
People with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome can be sensitive to all kinds of things. Anything that touches the skin or is scented can be a real problem, so things like lotion, body wash, scented candles, perfume, and aromatherapy products are best avoided unless you’re well informed about the person’s sensitivities.
Many have food sensitivities as well, which could mean food given as a gift goes to waste. Once again, this is only something to give if you know the person well enough to be familiar with their particular food issues.
If they’re on a special diet and you really nail it, though, they’ll probably be incredibly grateful.
Rely On Your Support System
You want to be around people and professionals who will support you through your recovery time. Everyone you are with daily or weekly should know about your condition and be aware of how it affects you.
If you have a thorough knowledge of CFS you will be able to manage it better and youll be able to educate those around you and help them know how they can support you.
Be sure to try and find doctors and health workers who can suggest ways to manage CFS as well.
The symptoms of CFS can range from mild to severe. Living with chronic fatigue every day can be very challenging, at whichever level of the disease you are experiencing.
Because CFS progresses differently in everyone, be sure to work with your doctor to come up with a plan to help you get better, and meet your needs.
Substances Which Help With Chronic Fatigue
There are some substances which increase energy and reduce fatigue in the short-term. The one that springs to mind, and arguably the most effective supplement for fighting fatigue in the short-term, is caffeine.
But caffeine and other stimulants are useless for combating chronic fatigue the kind of tiredness that results from being over-worked, chronically sleep deprived, and deficient in nutrients vital for healthy energy metabolism.
To really get to the heart of fatigue, especially lasting, chronic fatigue, you need to take a more fundamental approach. In other words, you need to target fatigue at the most basic, cellular level.
These are the most effective supplements for reducing chronic fatigue and promoting healthy energy levels:
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Schedule Injections For Weekends
My injections for my rheumatoid arthritis really kick my butt, like I cant get out of bed unless its to go to the bathroom, says Genevieve L., 30, of Melbourne, Australia. Thankfully the exhaustion is the worst on the first day and improves each day after. Ive learned to just schedule my injections for Fridays after work so I can sleep it off on Saturday, she says.
Lifestyle Suggestions For Fighting Fatigue
- Dont smoke cigarette smoke contains many harmful substances. There are many reasons why smokers typically have lower energy levels than non-smokers for example, for the body to make energy it needs to combine glucose with oxygen, but the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen available in the blood.
- Increase physical activity physical activity boosts energy levels, while a sedentary lifestyle is a known cause of fatigue. Physical activity has many good effects on the body and mind. A good bout of exercise also helps you sleep better at night. Seek advice and encouragement regarding the steps you can take toward a more active lifestyle and talk to your doctor if you havent exercised in a long time, are obese, are aged over 40 years or have a chronic medical condition.
- Move more, sit less reduce sedentary behaviours such as watching television and using computers, and break up long bouts of sitting.
- Seek treatment for substance abuse excessive alcohol consumption or recreational drug use contribute to fatigue, and are unhealthy and potentially dangerous.
- Workplace issues demanding jobs, conflicts at work and burnout are common causes of fatigue. Take steps to address your work problems. A good place to start is to talk with your human resources officer.
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Identify Treatments Youve Tried
In addition to tracking the symptoms you have experienced, keep a list of treatments you have tried. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a medications and supplements list you can use to track your medications, their dosage, how well they help, and if you experienced side effects. Write a separate list of other treatments you have tried beyond medications and supplements, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, acupuncture, or meditation.
Cope With Depression Anxiety And Distress
When you have ME/CFS, you may not be able to do the things you would like to do. This may lead to feelings of frustration and anxiety. It can also lead to depression. Depression is not the same thing as ME/CFS. But it can make your ME/CFS symptoms worse.
- Work with your doctor to watch for signs of depression.
- If your doctor suggests an antidepressant, ask if there is one that can help control your pain and help you sleep, as well as improve your mood.
- For support and help with mood problems, you can also work with a professional counselor who understands ME/CFS.
An ME/CFS support group can be a good source of information and tips for managing your illness. It also gives you a chance to share your frustrations and problems with others who have ME/CFS.
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What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms can vary with ME/CFS. If you have ME/CFS:
- You feel exhausted all or much of the time. And it doesn’t get better with rest.
- Your symptoms often flare up after a mental or physical activity that used to be no problem for you. There may be a day or two delay before it starts. And it may take days, weeks, or more to feel better.
- You have problems sleeping. Or you may wake up feeling tired or not rested.
- It may be harder for you to think clearly, concentrate, and remember things.
- You may feel dizzy, weak, or in more pain when you have been standing or sitting upright for a long time.
- You may also have headaches, muscle and joint pain, a sore throat, and tender glands in your neck or armpits.
Depression is common with ME/CFS, and it can make your other symptoms worse.
Alternative Or Complementary Medicine
Since there is no standard treatment for CFS/ME, people often consider alternatives to traditional medicine or use non-traditional treatments to complement their other medications. Commonly used alternative and complementary treatments include:
- Mind-body treatments, like qigong, tai chi, and meditation
- Trigger point therapy, called myofascial release
- Chiropractic treatments
Complementary therapies have received mixed results when scientifically studied. Before beginning an alternative or complementary treatment, talk with your doctor to ensure that you arent trying something potentially dangerous.
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What Is The Outlook For Someone With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The long-term outlook varies quite a bit. There may be times when your symptoms are not too bad and other times when they flare up and become worse. However, many people improve over time and some recover well. Children and younger people have a better rate of full recovery. Early diagnosis and treatment may lessen the impact of the illness. The important thing to remember is that this is not a progressive or life-threatening disease and that for many people full recovery is possible.
What To Expect At Your Provider’s Office
There is no laboratory test for chronic fatigue syndrome. But your health care provider may use tests to rule out other illnesses. Your provider will go over your symptoms, check your medical history, and do a physical examination.
If you have CFS, your provider may prescribe drugs to treat your symptoms, or suggest herbs, vitamins, or dietary changes to help you. Get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and learn to pace yourself. Often this combination of treatments will help you get better.
If the usual treatments do not work, your provider may check for other conditions that can cause symptoms similar to those of CFS.
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Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes
Making some lifestyle changes may help reduce your symptoms.
Limiting or eliminating your caffeine intake can help you sleep better and ease your insomnia. You should limit or avoid nicotine and alcohol too.
Try to avoid napping during the day if its hurting your ability to sleep at night.
Create a sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time every night and aim to wake up around the same time every day.
Get 7 9 Hours Of Sleep Nightly
The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Some questions you can ask yourself to see if you are not sleeping enough include: Does it take me a long time to fall asleep? Do I wake up often or am I restless? Do I feel sleepy when driving? Do I need caffeine to get through the day? Answer, yes, to any of these indicates you may not be getting enough quality sleep.
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Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine seems like a great way to improve your energy, but it comes with consequences. Caffeine can give you a false sense of energy and lead you to overdo it, according to Montoya. A little bit of caffeine may be fine for some people. Just be careful to not overexert yourself and make sure your intake doesnt impact your sleep.
What Are The Treatments For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There is no cure or approved treatment for CFS, but you may be able to treat or manage some of your symptoms. You, your family, and your health care provider should work together to decide on a plan. You should figure out which symptom causes the most problems and try to treat that first. For example, if sleep problems affect you the most, you might first try using good sleep habits. If those do not help, you may need to take medicines or see a sleep specialist.
Strategies such as learning new ways to manage activity can also be helpful. You need to make sure that you do not “push and crash.” This can happen when you feel better, do too much, and then get worse again.
Since the process of developing a treatment plan and attending to self-care can be hard if you have CFS, it is important to have support from family members and friends.
Don’t try any new treatments without talking to your health care provider. Some treatments that are promoted as cures for CFS are unproven, often costly, and could be dangerous.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Magnesium The Best Mineral Supplement For Chronic Fatigue
We cant underestimate magnesium when it comes to increasing energy levels. It should be among the first supplements youll go for if you want to treat chronic fatigue.
Magnesium is an essential mineral in your body. It is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body. Aside from energy production, magnesium is also vital for blood pressure and muscle function.
About half of the people diagnosed with having chronic fatigue also have a magnesium deficiency. This shows that a lack of enough magnesium could be a common cause of chronic fatigue. If that is the case, magnesium supplements can help reverse the condition.
Warming Products: Likely Win
Many people with these conditions are cold a lot of the time and have a hard time warming up when they get chilled. These days, you can find a lot of things that heat upblankets, slippers, scarves, and more.
Also, a lot of microwavable products are on the market, such as heatable neck pillows or “rice bags.”
Warm socks, a cozy bathrobe, plush slippers or other warm clothing may be a good choice as well.
The big things to consider with this kind of a gift are:
- Make sure the fabric is ultra-soft and the product itself isn’t heavy against the body
- Be sure the product is easy to care for so it doesn’t take work to use it
- With electric products, check to see if the heat turns off automatically so it doesn’t become a hazard if they fall asleep, or if brain fog strikes and it doesn’t get turned off
- Items that use water, such as heated foot baths, could be too heavy or require too much cleaning
Easing physical and emotional stress can help alleviate our symptoms, so promoting relaxation is good.
Soothing music is a good option for many and it’s actually therapeutic. Check what technology the person uses or is comfortable with, as some prefer less up-to-date options. Possible gifts could include music-download gift cards, wireless speaker, CDs, MP3 player, or good headphones. A subscription to a streaming music service is also a good option.
Other possibilities are massage devices or things that aid meditation.
Use caution when considering these choices:
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Treatments Offer Hope For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Researchers have found that two treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have long term benefits for people affected by the condition.
The team from Oxford University, Kings College London and Queen Mary University of London were following up patients who took part in a study published in 2011, funded by the Medical Research Council. In that study they looked at four potential treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and found that cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exercise therapy achieved better outcomes than standard medical care and adaptive pacing therapy at one year.
In this study they contacted the people who took part in the original study to find out how they were fairing two and a half years after starting the treatments.
Three quarters of the original trial participants took part in the follow up. It showed that the improvements in fatigue and physical functioning seen at one year in the trial with CBT and GET were maintained in the long-term.
Professor Michael Sharpe from the University of Oxford said: ‘The finding that participants who had cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exercise therapy had maintained their improvement over 2 years after entering the trial, tells us that these treatment can improve the long-term health of people with CFS.’
The paper is published in journal The Lancet Psychiatry on 28 October 2015: doi: 10.1016/S2215-036600475-7
When To Call A Doctor
It’s important to talk to your doctor about any symptoms you may have.
- Severe fatigue that lasts longer than 2 weeks, causes you to limit your usual activities, and does not improve with rest.
- Sleep problems that last for more than 1 to 2 months. These problems may include being unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, tossing and turning, and waking up feeling tired or not rested.
- Swelling in the glands in your neck or armpits that lasts for at least 2 weeks.
- Severe fatigue along with frequent urination , extreme thirst, weight loss, or blurred vision. Fatigue that occurs with some or all of these may be a symptom of undiagnosed diabetes.
- Severe headache that does not improve with home treatments.
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Avoid Smoking And Chemical Exposures
People with CFS should avoid, as much as possible, exposure to tobacco smoke, toxic chemicals, and pollutants. Smoke contains many toxicants, including carbon monoxide and nicotine, which alter the function of the nervous system and may increase risk of chronic pain.170,171 Exposure to cigarette smoke, even secondhand, is pro-inflammatory and suppresses or disorders immune response.172 A large multi-center prospective study of 9,209 non-demented patients found higher cigaretteexposure correlated with significantly higher rates of cognitive decline.173 Other studies have linked tobacco smoke exposure withgreater symptom burden in CFS or related conditions .174,175
Exposure to toxic compounds has been associated with CFS.176,177 Some individuals with reported chemical sensitivities also have severe chronic fatigue. In some cases, CFS symptoms have resolved in chemically sensitive individuals when they reduced or eliminated their toxicant exposure.178
If possible, those with CFS should also live and work in well-ventilated buildings. Indoor levels of pollutants such as solvents, pesticides, and dust are generally higher in buildings with poor ventilation. In a study of 100 large office buildings, office workers experiencing fatigue or difficulty concentrating were less likely to work in well-ventilated buildings or buildings with well-maintained ventilation systems compared with less well-ventilated or well-maintained buildings.181
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome May Hold Keys To Understanding Post
The draft represents a welcome repudiation of a deeply flawed body of research that had been conducted by a prominent group of British psychiatrists and other mental health experts. Members of this group first developed the psychological and behavioral treatment approach for ME/CFS in the late 1980s. They have single-mindedly insisted on it ever since, disparaging critics who raised legitimate concerns about their research as anti-science zealots. In developing its draft, NICE reviewed the science and assessed the evidence from studies promoting graded exercise therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to be of low or very low quality.
The NICE draft will undergo a six-week public comment period and further review, with a final version to be published in April. While revisions are possible, the draft itself has already been hailed as a major advance by ME/CFS patients and advocates in the U.K. and across the U.S. Since history shows that old habits die hard in primary care medicine, every new report based on an accurate evaluation of the science represents an important step toward educating well-meaning but poorly informed physicians.
Ironically, it has taken a pandemic to shine a brighter spotlight on ME/CFS.
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